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College Park Center supporters to be honored

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Friday, September 23, 2011

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan, Office:817-272-5364, Cell:817-706-9811, kristinsul@uta.edu

The families of two distinguished business leaders have committed $1.75 million in new gifts in support of UT Arlington’s 7,000-seat College Park Center, the events venue set to open on campus early next year.

Alan Petsche and his wife, Bonnie Smith Petsche, both alumni of the UT Arlington College of Business, have committed $1 million to College Park Center. The University of Texas at Arlington will honor the couple by naming the new basketball court Petsche Court. The couple’s commitment is the second-largest gift in support of the $78 million events center.

The Petsches are joined by The Moritz family, namesakes of Moritz Dealerships, who have committed $750,000 to College Park Center. The Moritz Family’s gift will be recognized through the establishment of Moritz Plaza, a grand space at the northwest corner of South Pecan and East Second streets that will serve as the main entrance to College Park Center. Moritz Plaza will connect the events center and the mixed-use retail and residential development spanning three blocks to the north.

UT Arlington President James D. Spaniolo said the new gifts are tangible evidence of the community’s willingness to invest in the University’s mission of becoming a top-tier institution.

“College Park Center will be a jewel among North Texas events venues for generations to come,” Spaniolo said. “We are honored that these business and community leaders have taken a leadership role in helping shape the future of our University and our city through their generous contributions.”

UT Arlington previously announced a $5 million commitment from Houston-based Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. in support of College Park Center. The University anticipates that it will soon meet its goal of raising $10 million in private support for the project.

Designed by the international architecture firm HKS Inc., College Park Center will provide the first true home court for Maverick basketball and volleyball teams. For decades, the teams have adapted the Texas Hall proscenium stage for Division I conference play.

College Park Center also will give Arlington a landmark venue for world-class concerts, speakers, commencement exercises and other high-profile events.

Mr. Petsche said his support for Petsche Court is grounded in his family’s deep ties to his alma mater and in his desire to see continued revitalization throughout downtown Arlington.

Mr. Petsche earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from UT Arlington in 1980. Mrs. Petsche earned her BBA from the University in 1986. The couple met at UT Arlington and cherishes the friendships they formed during their college years, Mr. Petsche said.

“Everything I have done in life somehow relates back to UT Arlington,” Mr. Petsche said. “I love the idea of the entire College Park District and that this new center will be at my alma mater.”

John David Moritz, president of Moritz Dealerships, said though he did not attend UT Arlington, his family was motivated to support the University as he has watched development of the College Park District help transform central Arlington and the downtown business district.

“This is our home, and this project is important to our community,” said Moritz, whose family moved to Arlington in the early 1970s. “College Park Center is the missing piece to really making a statement that downtown Arlington is back and that UT Arlington is a vital, critical part of our region.”

For more information about philanthropic opportunities at UT Arlington, please contact the Office of Development at 817-272-2584 or visit us online at http://www.uta.edu/giving/.

To book an event at College Park Center, please contact Jeff Davis at 817-272-5584 or by email, jmdavis@uta.edu.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,449 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.